We’ll be learning for years about the negative impacts and devastating fallout the remote learning concept has had on our children in public schools. LA Magazine produced a lengthy article on Cecily Myart-Cruz, the president of the Los Angeles Teachers Union. In the article, she touted her insistence on keeping kids out of school during COVID and how that decision might have impacted students in one of the nation’s largest school districts.
“Our kids didn’t lose anything… It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables… They learned resilience. They learned survival… They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest… They know the words insurrection and coup.”
Cecily Myart-Cruz’s Hostile Takeover of L.A.’s Public Schools
The head of the L.A. teachers’ union is ambitious, audacious, and uncompromising. But critics blast her as a demagogue whose gamesmanship during the pandemic took a toll on the kids she claims to fight for
By Jason McGahan
Traditionally, the job of UTLA is to represent the best interests of the L.A. school system’s 33,000 teachers—to ensure that they are paid properly, that they have the resources to do their jobs, and that their work conditions are safe. But under Myart-Cruz’s stewardship, which began when she assumed office in the summer of 2020, that purview has been expanded to include a breathtaking range of far-flung progressive issues: racial justice, Medicare for all, the millionaire tax, financial support for undocumented families, rental and eviction relief—over the last 15 months, UTLA has championed them all. Many of these may be laudable aims, or at least worth debating, but they aren’t the sort of agendas normally pursued by your neighborhood teachers’ union. In what universe, after all, does UTLA’s recent boycott of Israel over the conflict with Hamas benefit the teachers—or students—of Los Angeles?
Other controversial non-COVID initiatives pushed by Cruz and the union involve calling for the elimination of the LAUSD school police and revamping curriculum in ways deemed more “culturally relevant,” which include getting a bigger commitment from the district to fund ethnic studies.
But by far the most controversial element of Myart-Cruz’s leadership has been her epic battle with Governor Gavin Newsom and others over when and how to reopen L.A.’s schools as the pandemic alternately rages and recedes.
Click here to read the LA Magazine article in its entirety.